That's the problem with being mysterious. When the myth is dispelled, people are bound to be disappointed.
In many ways, it is really nice to have made friends here simply on the basis of words, thoughts, and ideas.
And yet, while being anonymous to the general blogosphere is fine, in the context of friendship it began to feel false.
When I began blogging, I had several reasons for anonymity. First, I was taught that you do not use your real name on the internet (or take candy from strangers).
Next due to my initial shyness about writing in a public realm, anonymity felt like a safety blanket.
And finally, my worst-case scenario was being googled and having my ideas become fodder for a church board meeting.
Having viewed many profiles, I always enjoy knowing about the person whose blog I read. And because I am visual, a picture means a lot to me.
That is why I wanted to add a picture. I want to be the real person that people meet when they visit my blog.
Having my picture on here doesn't really compromise my anonymity because the likelihood of anyone who knows me actually stumbling across my blog is pretty slim.
The act of posting a picture forced me to confront my cameraphobia. I don't particularly enjoy seeing my face every time I come to this blog. However, in the interest of not passing that neurosis on to my girls, I'm trying to come to grips with it.
Here is an excerpt from something I wrote about appearances that others who are cameraphobic (you know who you are) might find helpful:
"I have concluded that 90% of people are just normal looking. Within that spectrum of course there are issues of age, weight, grooming, style, etc. But for the most part, attractiveness has a lot more to do with image than with actual physical features.
There are probably about 5% of people who are in some way disfigured by their features. I feel really badly for these people. Most have lived with cruel remarks and teasing.
I think there might be a few people who do have remarkably perfect features. For the most part though, I think even the people we consider beautiful have more of a presence or personna than truly perfect features.
Sometimes I wish I looked better than I do, and sometimes I'm just glad I don't look worse than I do."
And approaching my mid-forties, I have come to realize that it won't get any better.
So, I guess this first act of disclosure is because I want the people who come here to know the real me, especially those I now consider friends.